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Bill behind gay marriage controversy in Sundance dies unheard

House leadership dropped a bill to update Wyoming statutes to reflect the U.S. Supreme Court’s legalization of gay marriage, disappointing House Minority Floor Leader Cathy Connolly (D-Laramie).

Connolly’s bill died when the House adjourned about 3:30 p.m. Friday before some bills were given introductory votes. Friday was the last day for bill introduction in the 2018 budget session.

“That was an important bill to get heard after what happened in Sundance,” Connolly told reporters after the House adjourned at 3:30 without votes on a number of bills, including House Bill 190 — Codification of marital rights.

Connolly said she had slimmed the bill down from a broader version that failed to receive sponsorship from the Joint Corporations, Elections and Political Subdivisions Committee after heated testimony against it during a Nov. 20 committee meeting in Sundance. The testimony was described as anti-gay, and public furor over the events in Sundance led the Legislature’s Management Council to pursue changes to training for committee chairman.

Connolly said she will sponsor the bill again next year.

The effort to retrain chairmen will move forward when the legislative session concludes, said Matt Obrecht, director of the Legislative Service Office. Speaker of the House Steve Harshman (R-Casper) and Senate President Eli Bebout (R-Riverton) will meet with Obrecht and two previous directors of the LSO to review the guidelines. The review will encompass other aspects of leading a committee as well.

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Andrew Graham is reporting for WyoFile from Laramie. He covers state government, energy and the economy. Reach him at 443-848-8756 or at [email protected], follow him @AndrewGraham88

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